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Suspension Too Stiff?

729 Views 4 Replies 0 Participants Last post by  SSMOKEM

It seems that we make our suspensions stiffer for better cornering performance. What is the limit? Is stiffer always better?

Does a super stiff suspension ever cause loss in cornering ability? Would the SS handle corners better if the shocks were welded to prevent movement? (no, I am not considering doing it



Region of Doom - Sacramento
1994 SS
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The answer is "Yes", you can make the suspension too stiff.

Where is that limit? I honestly don't know. It depends on a lotta other factors like road conditions (need softer springs on bumpier roads), tires, air pressure in tires, spring height, etc.

For MY driving conditions, the suspension I have now is NOT too stiff for the street. However, I wouldn't want it significantly stiffer either. I also wouldn't want it quite as stiff as it is now if I had to drive on roads with lotsa potholes (i.e. Northern US).

Going TOO stiff will result in things like the car becoming "twitchy" in corners, pronounced (and sudden) oversteer, and far outrunning the ability of the tires to hold the road.

I think a good example of what Ed is talking about is found in his setup, if you have looked at the laundry list of suspension mods he has he kept the stock upper arms so the suspension would have a little give and not bind up...
Look at racing cars. Most racing teams will re-tune suspension based on the track they are running. Too hard and the tires actually lift from the road surface over crests, too soft means the car will "float" in corners and not apply the maximum traction. Gotta find that "happy zone".



'96 LT1 Caprice
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At my age, floating around corners is GOOD!!

It's too bad that good cornering and optimum acceleration require 2 different setups! I would love to take corners really fast, but I'm willing to give it up for a slingshot response at the line.

Now if I could find an aftermarket electronic shock controller, that might be the answer.


1995 Impala SS "Cherry Bomb"
Best ETs: Faster than my '65 pickup
Mods : 93% Stock
My Super Impala SS Website
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